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Review: Don Jon

Sep. 24, 2013by: JimmyO

PLOT: DON JON is the story of a Jersey boy who can only connect to the world around him in his own superficial nature. Things begin to change however when he meets two very different and powerful women who shape his life in unexpected ways.

REVIEW: Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become one of the most intriguing talents working in Hollywood today. He has made a number of impressive choices as an actor from (500) DAYS OF SUMMER to MYSTERIOUS SKIN. As well he has tried to encompass all other areas of artistic achievement without missing a beat. Suffice it to say that it is not all that surprising he would tackle his own feature film. As actor, writer, and director of DON JON, he manages to give a charismatic performance and still work a little magic behind the camera.

Jon (Gordon-Levitt) is a muscle-bound New Jersey boy who loves his family, his friends, his girls and most importantly, he loves his porn. We as the audience are continually reminded of what makes Jon tick witnessing him going through the motions and banging women he meets at bars. Or we see him having a tumultuous dinner with his family, while his mother (played by Glenne Headly) is convinced she will never get to be a grandmother – much to her dismay of course. His family dynamic may come across as a bit stereotypical Jersey, yet it is at times quite hilarious and charming. With his cell phone obsessed sister (Brie Larson) and his overbearing dad (a fantastic Tony Danza) we see a whole lot about Jon thanks to these lively moments.

The two women that cross paths with Jon are Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) and Esther (Julianne Moore). One is the blonde bombshell that plays hard to get, the other is a strange woman he meets while taking an evening course – one which Barbara convinces him to take in order to better himself. It is damn near impossible to not be taken in by Johansson’s sex appeal. She is quite good as a woman who wants more for her man – even if that means changing everything about him. As for Moore, she is eccentric and strangely charming. Her “Esther” is a complex character that is in many ways the most intriguing in the film. It is a terrific performance and it’s a shame that she appears so late into it, as I would have liked to have seen much more of her relationship with Jon.

While I applaud the raw and bold subject matter, DON JON is much too repetitive throughout its ninety minute runtime. We see countless shots of Jon going to a church, going to a club, and doing whatever the hell he likes to do. The reasons for it are clear, yet the continuous scenes of his lifestyle begin to feel more than a little redundant. If they had cut these scenes in half the point would still have been made. Once the story finally begins to branch out of his little world is when the film expands on the occasionally stale repetition. This is especially true as DON JON really comes into its own near the final half hour or so.

Aside from the occasionally monotonous nature of the film, Gordon-Levitt gives DON JON a slick and stylish visual flair that is far better than you’d expect for this type of character-driven story. This is a sometimes heartfelt flick that deals with the realities of sex and relations with little bursts of energy. The performances are all quite good, especially Moore, Headly and Danza, and yes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well. For a first time feature filmmaker, this is a brave attempt to examine the clichés of a modern romance. As a comedic drama, it is the more serious moments that are the most effective. It is a funny enough film and a good start for the man of many talents, Mr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:34PM on 09/30/2013

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+1
12:35PM on 09/26/2013

Fantastic Film

I honestly think the score given is way too low. Definitely deserves a solid 8/10. It is hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. Not a movie to take your first date too….hell, I don’t think you should take your girlfriend to this because she will be nudging you in the ribs with her elbow if you laugh at some of the crude (but oh so truthful) jokes. See it with your boys. This is a TOAL guy’s flick. If you are a prude, you will be embarrassed and feel awkward. If you’re not a good woman slayer in
I honestly think the score given is way too low. Definitely deserves a solid 8/10. It is hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. Not a movie to take your first date too….hell, I don’t think you should take your girlfriend to this because she will be nudging you in the ribs with her elbow if you laugh at some of the crude (but oh so truthful) jokes. See it with your boys. This is a TOAL guy’s flick. If you are a prude, you will be embarrassed and feel awkward. If you’re not a good woman slayer in general, you will wish you were. I have to say JGL did a great job writing, directing and starring. I went with a coworker (who is gay) and it was interesting how we agreed in a lot of elements to the movie (guy’s rating girls..and vice versa..on a scale of 1-10 and how EVERYONE of planet earth does it. Jerking off (how EVERYONE pretty much does it – don’t deny it), meeting up with that girl you secretly just want to fuck and pretend you like her. This is such a truthful story of a guy who just likes his porn, likes fucking and chucking and everything else. Good job man. “You know those guys who say they love eating pussy? Pffff…they are fucking crazy”
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11:23PM on 09/24/2013

Hesher

Fucking rocked. I loved it. Brick, Manic & Mysterious Skin are also fantastic.
Fucking rocked. I loved it. Brick, Manic & Mysterious Skin are also fantastic.
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4:12PM on 09/24/2013
I'm hoping to catch this move this weekend. Scarlett Johansson looks so fine in this movie.
I'm hoping to catch this move this weekend. Scarlett Johansson looks so fine in this movie.
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+2
2:31PM on 09/24/2013
Will definitely see this. Love everyone involved and it doesn't come off as lazy. Big plus.
Will definitely see this. Love everyone involved and it doesn't come off as lazy. Big plus.
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8:27AM on 09/24/2013
Double post.
Double post.
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8:27AM on 09/24/2013
I'm sold on this for Danza alone.
I'm sold on this for Danza alone.
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5:05AM on 09/24/2013
Sounds like the right score. It's looks good, but I'm not expecting him to pull a 'Gone Baby Gone' or 'The Town' like Affleck did for his first two films.

Will definitely be checking it out though.
Sounds like the right score. It's looks good, but I'm not expecting him to pull a 'Gone Baby Gone' or 'The Town' like Affleck did for his first two films.

Will definitely be checking it out though.
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2:52AM on 09/24/2013

I Trust Joseph Gordon-Levitt.......

did anybody see Hesher?
did anybody see Hesher?
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3:11AM on 09/24/2013
Yeah... It sucked.
Yeah... It sucked.
5:56AM on 09/24/2013
I really like most of Gordon-Levitt's films but Hesher is probably the worst movie he's done.
I really like most of Gordon-Levitt's films but Hesher is probably the worst movie he's done.
5:56AM on 09/24/2013
Damn double posts.
Damn double posts.
11:41AM on 09/24/2013
That's funny, as a huge fan of JGL I was encouraged to see Hesher. Didn't do it for me at all. Thought I was the only one
That's funny, as a huge fan of JGL I was encouraged to see Hesher. Didn't do it for me at all. Thought I was the only one
11:23PM on 09/24/2013
I liked it a lot
I liked it a lot